After getting their first road victory of 2013 on Friday night, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 111-100, the Lakers will look to accomplish something else they haven't done in this season ... win two games in a row away from Staples Center.
To do so, they'll need to defeat the Pistons (18-29) in Detroit on Sunday morning. In an early game (10 a.m. PST), the Lakers will need to make sure they're wide awake for a difficult Pistons squad. Detroit may not have an impressive overall record, but it is 14-11 at home.
The Lakers always seem to struggle against Calderon, who may make his Pistons debut Sunday.
Dwight Howard is back with the Lakers after flying to Los Angeles to get a shoulder injury treated. After sitting out the game in Minnesota, Howard is expected to play against the Pistons.
The Pistons need to play fast and aggressive at guard, especially on dribble penetration and pick and roll. Knight is coming off a 20-point, 10-assist performance in a Detroit victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Whether it's as a scorer or distributor, Kobe Bryant should be able to attack the Pistons without Prince draped all over him. Prince has always been one of the better defenders on Bryant.
Greg Monroe is one of the league's promising young big men, be it at center or power forward. He can score, rebound and pass. After a slow start this season, he's shooting 48.3% from the field.
How strong will Howard's shoulder be Sunday? The Lakers need Howard to be healthy for any sustained success.
After losing their first three games of the regular season (after a 0-8 preseason), the Lakers pummeled the Pistons on Nov. 4.
Now at home, and with the addition of Calderon, the Pistons will be a much tougher challenge. The Lakers may find Detroit too tough to overcome to win their second game in a row on the road.